Independent candidate Nick Thomas is optimistic about his chances in Colorado's 2nd Congressional District, and the timing of his candidacy may be just right.
The 2nd Congressional District is considered by most politicos to be the most left-leaning district in Colorado. It was heavily gerrymandered to be a deep shade of blue, and has over 172,000 registered Democrats, compared to nearly 136,000 Republicans (December 2017 numbers).
Still, much like the state, the largest registered voting bloc doesn't belong to a political party. Nearly 200,000 voters are registered unaffiliated.
Nick Thomas has not held elected office before. However, public service has been a personal passion of his for the last 10 years, and is a major focal point of his campaign.
According to his website:
"He is an Eagle Scout, a member of U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a Rotarian, a Freemason, a Semester at Sea alumni, a 2015 Shafik Gabr Fellow, an OFA Fellow, a 2008 U.S. Congressional Youth Ambassador to South Korea, and a pilot. Nick also served as an Intern and Aide to Senator Ron Tupa in 2007 through 2008, was a member of the CSU College Republicans and was the 2017 Colorado State Democratic Dinner VOG."
If elected, Thomas says he wants to incorporate his passion for public service in making sure Congress can get something done for the country and for voters.
"The parties are not showing a willingness to get things done for the people," he remarked in an interview for IVN.
Thomas says his campaign is founded on 6 core principles: social tolerance, fiscal responsibility, economic opportunity (especially for small businesses and startups), a functional government, environmental responsibility, and a commitment to service.
His candidacy continues to gain attention as well. According to the most recent fundraising reports, Thomas quadrupled his contributions from Quarter 3 to Quarter 4 of 2017.
He is also picking up big-name endorsements from across the political spectrum, including a former Reagan advisor and Martin Luther King Jr.'s son.
There are three Democrats running in the 2nd district: Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larsen, Joe Neguse, and Mark Williams.
One Republican, Peter Yu, filed, but he is a largely unknown candidate and hasn't made his presence felt in the race. He did not make an appearance at a recent Our Revolution Boulder debate that featured all three Democratic candidates and Thomas.
You can watch the full video of the debate below:
Yu's absence in the race has raised the possibility that the November general election could end up being a two-person race between the Democrat who wins the primary and Thomas, which would greatly increase the independent's chances.
"I can be a champion of everything [District 2] represents," Thomas said during the debate. "We need independents right now."
Thomas is supported by polling data. A bombshell survey from the Centrist Project Institute in October found that a majority of Colorado voters are tired of Democrats and Republicans not working together, and 85 percent are open to voting for an independent candidate.
A two-person race would give voters a viable independent to vote for.
Nick Thomas will launch a national tour with events on Wednesday, January 10, in Nashville, and Thursday, January 11, in Atlanta.
Thomas will be giving the keynote speech at the Bunker Labs' Leadership Luncheon, which will include award-winning author, entrepreneur, and Army veteran Marjorie Eastman and Democratic US Senate candidate James Mackler.
He has also received the endorsement of Robert McFarlane, who served as President Ronald Reagan's national security advisor.
Nick Thomas cannot qualify for the November ballot until the summer, when he will have 60 days in June and July to collect 800 valid signatures from district voters. Thomas says it is all, but guaranteed that he will get on the ballot.
"We will easily gather twice the amount [of signatures] needed," he said.
Stay tuned for more coverage of this race.